In the Diggers' footsteps
- 5remembrance sites
- 403thousand Australian and New Zealand soldiers
While fighting in the Somme, the former gold-diggers from Down Under were nicknamed the Diggers.
On 23 July 1916, they launched an attack on Pozières, where one in three soldiers were killed.
In all, 23,000 were killed, wounded or MIA: these were among the heaviest losses in Australian military history.
Now the village pays homage to them with the monument to the 1st Australian Division.
The nifty Pozières 1916 application guides you to the sites and depicts the life of the Australian troops on the front.
The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
The ANZAC,or the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, landed in Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. Many Australian and New Zealand soldiers took part in WWI.
ANZAC forces finally halted the German offensive of March 1918 in Villers-Bretonneux with fighting on 24, 25 and 26 April 1918.
Now, the National Australian Memorial affords a wide panorama of the surrounding countryside. It was one of the last memorials to the Great War to be erected in France.
It also bears traces of fighting which occurred in 1940. Nearby, the Franco-Australian Museum (closed for renovations at the moment) retraces ANZAC history in the Great War.
Tel.: +33 (0)3 22 96 80 79
25 April, known as ANZAC Day, is the national remembrance day in Australia and New Zealand. Emotions run high during the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the National Australian Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux.
The Australian war effort
Le Hamel, Mont-Saint-Quentin
Australian troops took part in other battles on the Somme front in 1918.
The Australian Memorial in Le Hamel pays tribute to the famous tactical attack on 4 July 1918, when General Monash notoriously reached all his objectives in a mere 93 minutes!
There are several plaques to commemorate his achievements throughout the town.
On 2 September 1918, the Australians liberated Péronne, also capturing the strategic point Mont Saint-Quentin. This was hailed as one of the greatest Australian victories during the war.
Their exploits are explained in full during a walk with full commentary. To round off the theme, there's also a room in the Historial de la Grande Guerre (Museum of the Great War) focussing on the Australian war effort in the Somme.